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A vintage gelatin silver photograph (254 x 318 mm) of the West Australian Airways De Havilland DH-66 Hercules biplane G-AUJO, taking off from what may be Adelaide's Parafield Airport
Norman Brearley founded Western Australian Airways in 1921 (called West Australian Airways from 1926). In 1929, WAA 'won a five-year contract for mail flights between Perth and Adelaide ... which it commenced that year using the much larger DH-66 Hercules aircraft. Reflecting the more leisurely pace of air operations in those days, the flight included two lunch stops and an overnight stay at Forrest, on the Nullarbor. Four Hercules were purchased' (raafawa.org.au). These four were each 'capable of carrying 14 passengers and considerable cargo, at a speed of 160 kilometres per hour' (ozaviation.com.au). G-AUJO, the first of them, was delivered on 1 June 1929. 'From January 1929, Australian aircraft began displaying the nationality and registration mark "VH". Aircraft previously registered G-A__ dropped the "G-A" prefix but retained the last three letters of their registration. Thus G-AUBA became VH-UBA. Because of the cost of re-painting aircraft, owners were given a period of twelve months in which to effect the change at the next major overhaul' (airwaysmuseum.com). Accordingly, this photograph dates from the second half of 1929. It is a wonderful image of the aircraft gathering height as it takes off, with a house in the near-background providing a sense of scale. The light over the hills in the distance completes the picture. Apart from a few trifling marks to the surface of mainly marginal areas, the photograph is in very good condition, now matted (using archival materials) ready for framing. The aircraft itself was very rare, as only eleven were ever built.
      [Bookseller: Michael Treloar Antiquarian Booksellers]
Last Found On: 2017-10-02           Check availability:      Biblio    

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